Quirós-Ramírez, M. Alejandra

M. Alejandra
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Weight bias and linguistic body representation in anorexia nervosa : Findings from the BodyTalk project

2021-03, Behrens, Simone Claire, Meneguzzo, Paolo, Favaro, Angela, Teufel, Martin, Skoda, Eva-Maria, Lindner, Marion, Walder, Lukas, Quirós-Ramírez, M. Alejandra, Zipfel, Stephan, Mohler, Betty

This study provides a comprehensive assessment of own body representation and linguistic representation of bodies in general in women with typical and atypical anorexia nervosa (AN).

In a series of desktop experiments, participants rated a set of adjectives according to their match with a series of computer generated bodies varying in body mass index, and generated prototypic body shapes for the same set of adjectives. We analysed how body mass index of the bodies was associated with positive or negative valence of the adjectives in the different groups. Further, body image and own body perception were assessed.

In a German‐Italian sample comprising 39 women with AN, 20 women with atypical AN and 40 age matched control participants, we observed effects indicative of weight stigmatization, but no significant differences between the groups. Generally, positive adjectives were associated with lean bodies, whereas negative adjectives were associated with obese bodies.

Our observations suggest that patients with both typical and atypical AN affectively and visually represent body descriptions not differently from healthy women. We conclude that overvaluation of low body weight and fear of weight gain cannot be explained by generally distorted perception or cognition, but require individual consideration.


Body Image Disturbances and Weight Bias After Obesity Surgery : Semantic and Visual Evaluation in a Controlled Study, Findings from the BodyTalk Project

2021-01-06, Meneguzzo, Paolo, Behrens, Simone Claire, Favaro, Angela, Tenconi, Elena, Vindigni, Vincenzo, Teufel, Martin, Skoda, Eva-Maria, Lindner, Marion, Quirós-Ramírez, M. Alejandra, Mohler, Betty

Body image has a significant impact on the outcome of obesity surgery. This study aims to perform a semantic evaluation of body shapes in obesity surgery patients and a group of controls.

Materials and Methods:
Thirty-four obesity surgery (OS) subjects, stable after weight loss (average 48.03 ± 18.60 kg), and 35 overweight/obese controls (MC), were enrolled in this study. Body dissatisfaction, self-esteem, and body perception were evaluated with self-reported tests, and semantic evaluation of body shapes was performed with three specific tasks constructed with realistic human body stimuli.

The OS showed a more positive body image compared to HC (p < 0.001), higher levels of depression (p < 0.019), and lower self-esteem (p < 0.000). OS patients and HC showed no difference in weight bias, but OS used a higher BMI than HC in the visualization of positive adjectives (p = 0.011). Both groups showed a mental underestimation of their body shapes.

OS patients are more psychologically burdened and have more difficulties in judging their bodies than overweight/obese peers. Their mental body representations seem not to be linked to their own BMI. Our findings provide helpful insight for the design of specific interventions in body image in obese and overweight people, as well as in OS.